Our hearts right now are with the families who received referrals last March, who thought they would be home with their kiddos right now. There is a cog in the government machine in Thailand right now, and their files have not been presented to the adoption board, which is what must take place in order to receive what is called “First Approval.” (Did I already explain this?) Once your case is presented (by a Thai government social worker TO the Thai adoption board), you are granted First Approval. Basically, this is when it gets real and papers start going back and forth between Thailand, our agency, our family, the USCIS, back to Thailand, etc. It’s when we start looking at plane tickets, tentative court dates, etc. I had a long chat with our agency last week, and basically they do not know exactly where our family is in the queue of files to be presented at the adoption board meetings, but they anticipate it will be in February or March. The dates are Feb 1 & 15, March 8 & 21st. As of right now, travel usually follows about 10-11 weeks after first approval. Because they cannot guarantee when we will get approval, we are having to update our home study and our I-800A, which is a bunch of work. Boo.
I realized I haven’t blogged since the non-update, and I probably didn’t have the heart to publicize that we got notice from our agency that there will be no re-do or make-up progress report for the kiddos that missed them in December. The flat-out truth is that the flood made it impossible for a normal social worker visit last fall (including a dr’s appointment, development assessment and pictures), and so we will not be receiving another update until the scheduled one in March. I keep telling myself that someday we’ll tell Asher about these months of waiting as a well-rehearsed story. Kind of like I tell my bio kids about their labor and delivery. Instead of painful contractions, we’ll talk about painful waiting periods and dramatic stretches of time–“And then we had to wait six months with NO new pictures or information on how you were doing! We were going crazy!”
Some days I truly feel the excitement of this fact: we are in the home stretch! There is every reason to believe we’ll have Asher in our home by summer. Other days, it seems like an endless limbo. And on those days, I do some virtual shopping! I don’t think we’ll have a typical baby shower, b/c it seems kind of strange to have one for a toddler when he’s a third child, but I have slowly been compiling a list of wants and needs. One thing I know we wanted was a heavy-duty toddler carrier. I did a lot of research and we (by we, I’m sure you know I mean “I”) decided on a Baby Hawk. They are not cheap, but the one we registered for is specifically made for toddlers, and can be front/back carrier. The website is babyhawk.com and we chose the Oh Snap! Carrier. Ironically, it has no snaps, only buckles. (???) Our registry is AJC36DD103. This was a big decision, like a wedding dress, so thanks for not telling me if you had a bad experience with these or if you think I made the wrong choice in carriers. 🙂
I also started a wish list at Amazon.com. We don’t need a lot of baby items on a typical baby registry, but one of my friends suggested the amazon thing. We put all kinds of smallish items like adoption books, books that have asian children in them, toddler flashcards, plus a few bigger things like a wagon. (That’s definitely more want than need.) Often when we are shopping with my kids and they see something they want, I tell them we will put it on their wish list. Turns out, that is a good tactic! It even helps me! I might not be able to buy all of these things, and don’t expect others to buy all of them, but it is fun to distract myself from the horrid wait by mentally spoiling our little man.